Saturday, November 12, 2016

FAITH Glorifying GOD - Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Abraham staggered NOT at the promise of GOD through UNbelief; but was MADE STRONG in/by FAITH, giving GLORY TO GOD; and being FULLY persuaded that, what He had promised, He was ABLE also to perform. (Romans 4:20-21)

(The following are notes from Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones' sermon, FAITH Glorifying GOD.)

Abraham LOOKED TO GOD. And he looked AT GOD. He kept his eyes ON GOD... GIVING HIM GLORY. Abraham considered GOD. He considered WHO GOD IS. He considered WHAT GOD IS. Abraham glorified GOD just by REALIZING WHO and WHAT GOD IS. He contemplated ALL the GLORIOUS ATTRIBUTES of GOD.

We glorify GOD by realizing the TRUTH about Him and worshiping Him because of that and committing ourselves to Him in the light of that TRUTH.

Abraham considered the ETERNITY of GOD... that GOD IS JEHOVAH -- the Eternal "I AM THAT I AM." He contemplated, meditated, dwelt on the ETERNALITY of GOD.
 
He also meditated on the MAJESTY of GOD. And the GLORY of GOD (the ultimate attribute of GOD -- the ineffable GLORY of GOD, beyond our comprehension, dwelling in UNAPPROACHABLE light).

Abraham thought about GOD's OMNIPRESENCE -- GOD is EVERYwhere. There is NO place in the WHOLE cosmos where GOD isn't. (see Psalm 139)

The OMNISCIENCE of GOD. GOD KNOWS EVERYthing. There is NOthing that GOD doesn't know. He KNOWS the End and from the Beginning. ALL things are always present before His sight and His scan. He KNOWS ALL and NOthing can happen ANYwhere but that GOD has known it BEFOREhand. His OMNISCIENCE, His foreknowledge is COMPLETE knowledge, without ANY gap or without ANY blemish or any defect whatsoever... OMNISCIENCE -- EVERYthing is KNOWN to Him.

The OMNIPOTENCE of GOD. There is NO LIMIT to the POWER of GOD -- ABSOLUTELY NONE whatsoever! "Is ANYthing too hard for the LORD?" Is there ANYthing GOD cannot do? NOthing! There is NOthing that GOD cannot do. There is NOthing that can withstand Him. HIS POWER IS ABSOLUTE. It is ETERNAL... it is ALMIGHTY. HE IS OMNIPOTENT!

GOD's RIGHTEOUSNESS... His JUSTICE... His TRUTH... His HOLINESS... His UNchangeability... His EVERlasting and eternal CONSTANCY.

Abraham looked at GOD... he looked at these attributes of the Being and the character of GOD, and went on looking at them -- that's HOW he gave GLORY to GOD. Abraham deduced that because of WHO and WHAT GOD IS -- that GOD never makes a PROMISE lightly or loosely... or thoughtlessly. GOD KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT HE IS DOING. Abraham knew that GOD does NOT change His mind. GOD is the Father of Lights, where there is NO variableness or shadow of turning. GOD is EVERlastingly the SAME. What GOD has promised, He will SURELY perform. GOD CANNOT LIE (see Titus 1:2) because of WHO and WHAT HE IS -- ETERNAL Righteousness, UPrightness, TRUTHfulness.

GOD's ABILITY -- Abraham was "FULLY persuaded that, what He had promised, He was ABLE also to perform." With GOD, NOthing is impossible!

Abraham concluded that because ALL these things were TRUE about GOD -- NOTHING ELSE MATTERS AT ALL! What mattered to Abraham was that GOD has spoken -- He made a PROMISE. And there's nothing more INSULTING to GOD than NOT to BELIEVE Him. The TERRIBLE thing about UNbelief is that it's an INSULT to GOD!
 
FAITH IS that which ALWAYS GLORIFIES GOD. FAITH is to believe GOD simply and solely because HE IS GOD. FAITH is ultimately that which gives GLORY to GOD by seeing the TRUTH about Him and TRUSTing it utterly and and ABSOLUTELY at ALL costs. 

FAITH IS the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED for -- the EVIDENCE of things NOT seen. "HAVE FAITH IN GOD" -- translated by Hudson Taylor is "HOLDING ON to the FAITHFULNESS of GOD." The reference is TO GOD.

FAITH does NOT look AT itself. FAITH NEVER looks TO itself. FAITH is never interested in itself nor talks about itself. It doesn't look at the person who's exercising it. FAITH LOOKS AT GOD -- holding on to the FAITHfulness OF GOD. The big thing about FAITH is NOT what i'm doing, but GOD's FAITHFULNESS -- giving GLORY to GOD. FAITH is interested in GOD only; and it talks about GOD, and it praises GOD; and it extolls the VIRTUES of GOD.

The measure of the STRENGTH of a man's FAITH is ultimately the measure of his KNOWLEDGE about GOD. FAITH ALWAYS GLORIFIES GOD! Abraham knew GOD so well that he was the friend of GOD -- and when a man is the friend of GOD, he's a man of GREAT FAITH! Strong FAITH is not weak and he does not stagger -- but it's not the man, but the KNOWLEDGE of GOD, the attributes of GOD. And he's looking at GOD and thinking about GOD -- not the problem or the difficulty, BUT GOD... and he's RESTing there. 

To be STRONG in FAITH -- it's about becoming a certain kind of person. You can't have STRONG FAITH without HOLINESS and without OBEDIENCE. 

HOW to have STRONG FAITH -- 

1) KNOWLEDGE of the Bible. Read your Bible -- beginning to end. Concentrate on the revelation that GOD has given of Himself and of His character. Notice what you get in prophecy, watch His promises, see them being fulfilled. Be GROUNDED in all this. Read the history in the Bible; read the examples (see Hebrews 11 -- they KNEW GOD and gave GLORY to GOD). Meditate on all that. 

2) Strong FAITH is a KNOWLEDGE of GOD PERSONALLY. Praying. Spending time in His Presence. Waiting upon Him. 

3) APPLY it all in PRACTICE to the particular cases as they arise in your own life and experience.

Abraham "staggered not, but gave GLORY to GOD." That's the SECRET of FAITH -- to GLORIFY GOD. 


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CHRIST JESUS -- my Beloved SAVIOR -- THE Risen LORD!

SPIRIT-given Principles to my SALVATION:
BY the SPIRIT of the Risen LORD JESUS, i've reckoned that IN THE BEGINNING -- GOD!

BY the SPIRIT's on-going TRANSFORMATION of my mind -- i've reckoned that in my SELF dwells NOthing good.
For in this SELF of old dwells ABSOLUTE Depravity...
In my SELF of old lurks Ungodly Darkness and Utter Destruction!
(Genesis 1:1; Romans 7)

BUT GOD! even BEFORE the beginning -- GOD SO LOVED!

GOD SO LOVED that He created from a NO-thing
a SOME-thing altogether GOOD in His sight.
GOD brought HIS AMAZING Light into the Chaotic Darkness...
GOD Himself created Eternal LIFE into my SELF-created DEATHness!
(John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17)


BY GOD'S GRACE -- i've reckoned my SELF crucified with CHRIST -- my Risen LORD!

Day by day i reckon my SELF DEAD to SIN, but ALIVE to GOD.
Hour by hour this branch is at REST in the TRUE Vine...
Moment by moment i'm kept by my FATHER, the DIVINE Gardener!
(Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:11; John 15)



O BLESSED ALL-mighty SAVIOR who bore on His body
the stripes for ALL my sins!


O BLESSED Humble SUBSTITUTE who took on Himself
the penalties for my EVERY sin.
O BLESSED Perfect LAMB of GOD who bled and DIED
in my stead at Calvary's CROSS...
O BLESSED Holy CHRIST of GOD who SACRIFICED Himself
that this WRETCHED SINNER may LIVE!
(1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53)



O DIVINE Gardener, YOU cause ALL things to work together for GOOD to those who abide in The TRUE Vine -- Your SON JESUS!

Prune away ALL unnecessary excess that may hinder fruit bearing.
Do ALL to this branch according to Your INFINITE Wisdom
so that The VINE may produce MUCH fruit for Your GLORY...
For it is You, LORD SPIRIT, who wills and works in this fruit-bearer
according to Your GOOD pleasure!
(Romans 8:28; John 15; Philippians 2:13)


THANK YOU, LORD, for creating in me a NEW Heart of Mercy!

As You did, i also forgive ALL who have sinned against me.

THANK YOU, LORD, for TRANSFORMING my mind day by day...
THROUGH YOU ALONE, i have PEACE WITH GOD -- now i share the PEACE OF GOD that surpasses ALL human understanding!
(Luke 23:24; Colossians 3:13; Romans 12:2)


Search me, LORD SPIRIT -- reveal to me my INNERmost BEing!
Convict me of ANY and EVERY thing that is NOT of CHRIST.
Cause me to see WHATever offends or grieves You...

Then be my Loving PHYSICIAN who cuts away DIS-ease and heals
as i stand still, FULLY trusting Your gentle hand!
(Psalm 139:23-24; Ephesians 4:30; Luke 5:31-32; John 15)


HALLELUJAH! The LIFE of this NEW i am is NOW being lived out by the Risen I AM!

No longer a SLAVE to SIN, but a SLAVE to RIGHTEOUSNESS.
No longer full of SELF, but an emptied vessel to be filled daily...
Filled with the LIFE-Giving River of the SPIRIT of CHRIST!
(Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:11; Ephesians 5:18)


FatherGOD -- YOU are EVERYthing to this NO-thing whom
YOU've created to be a SOME-thing for YOUR EXPRESSION!

Cause me to bear MUCH fruit for JESUS -- the LORD of my LIFE.
By the INdwelling SPIRIT of CHRIST, use the ALL
YOU've poured into this yielded vessel...
That ALL may know YOU and Your SON JESUS, and glorify Your NAME!
(John 15)


AMEN!

Monday, May 9, 2016

The FELLOWSHIP of The UNASHAMED

"i’m part of the FELLOWSHIP of the UNASHAMED. The die has been cast. i have stepped over the line. The DECISION has been made. i’m a DISCIPLE of CHRIST JESUS and i won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

"My past is REDEEMED. My present makes sense. My future is SECURE. i’m done and finished with LOW living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, MUNDANE talking, CHEAP living, and DWARFED goals.

"i NO LONGER NEED preeminence, lavish wealth, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. i don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. i LIVE by FAITH, LEAN on His presence, WALK by patience, LIFT by prayer, and labor by Holy SPIRIT POWER.
 
"My face is set. My gait is fast. My GOAL is Heaven. My ROAD may be NARROW, my way ROUGH, my companions FEW, but my Guide is RELIABLE and my MISSION is clear. i will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.


"i will not flinch in the face of SACRIFICE or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. i will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. i won’t give up, shut up, or let up until i have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of CHRIST.

"i am a DISCIPLE of JESUS. i must give until i drop, preach until ALL know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear." (Bob Moorehead, excerpt from "Words Aptly Spoken")

have been crucified with CHRIST; it is no longer i who live, but CHRIST LIVES IN me; and the LIFE which i now live in the flesh i LIVE by FAITH in the SON of GOD, who LOVED me and GAVE HIMSELF for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

RICARDO NAVALTA -- 88 1/2 Earth-Years

Uncle Ric isn't even my Dad -- so WHY am i mourning over his death MORE than i did over my own father's death?

On Sunday, April 17, uncle Ric was rushed to Sharp's E.R. He was in ICU for three days, then Comfort Care until he passed away, Saturday, April 23. But prior to this, Uncle Ric was in and out of hospital- and rehab-stays, due to a bad fall late January. i saw Mom's faithfulness first hand as she visited him every day, even staying overnight during the last two nights before Uncle died.

When i finally visited Uncle at the last rehab facility, he was almost comatose and was driven into Sharp's ER, where he was stabilized and hospitalized a couple weeks and then back to the same rehab facility. Visiting Uncle more often -- giving him massages and helping out with his occupational therapy (playing blackjack with him...LOL!), i got to see the stage of life when we become SO dependent, SO helpless, SO fragile. i saw Uncle at his weakest... and it wrenched at my heart.

At Sharp's ER, in a private room, i sang "HE's got the whole world in His hands" over and over. And all throughout the week, i sang this song to Uncle -- also telling him of JESUS' love for him and that there's no need to fear when he has CHRIST at his side. i shared with him Biblical truths about heaven -- that "GOD Himself will wipe away every tear from his eyes; there'll be no more death, or sorrow, or crying. There'll be no more pain. ALL these things are gone forever." (Revelation 21:4)

Many were praying for Uncle's recovery... even for a miracle. On Tuesday, April 19, this flower bloomed in the backyard garden that Mom and Uncle tended together. GOD spoke to me through His creation -- how fearfully and wonderfully made is each soul! And yet how brief is our time on earth... "Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone--as though we had never been here." (Psalm 103:15-16) For a brief time, on this Tuesday, uncle Ric "bloomed" -- became conscious of his surroundings -- of family and friends who came to visit him. He was himself, though but a weak shadow, about to fade away...

The days of our lives are seventy years;
and if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
for it is soon cut off and we fly away.
(Psalm 90:10)

ALL flesh is grass. 
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the Word of our GOD stands forever.
(Isaiah 40:6-8)
By GOD's grace, i shared the Good News with Uncle -- that he can receive peace with GOD through CHRIST JESUS, the Son of GOD. JESUS Himself said, "I AM the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the FATHER except through Me." (John 14:6) And it is written: "ALL have turned away; ALL have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!" (Psalm 14:3) EVERYone has sinned -- we ALL fall short of GOD's glorious standard." (Romans 3:23)

Keeping it very simple, i explained to Uncle that we ALL have done wrong things in our lives, and we need to be forgiven by GOD through JESUS' death on the cross... that He takes away our sins by dying for us, that he rose from the grave and is now in heaven. i told Uncle not to be afraid, that all he has to do is to call out, even if it's just in his mind -- "JESUS, help me!"

Uncle Ric was able to say, "GOD, forgive me..."

During this week of watching Uncle slowly fade away, i read to him Psalm 23 and Psalm 139. Though he was unable to speak, i prayed that GOD would allow Uncle to hear and understand and be reassured that the LORD JESUS is the Good Shepherd who will walk with him through this valley of the shadow of death... that He will make him to lie down in green pastures and lead him beside still waters... that He will restore His soul!

May GOD have allowed uncle Ric to also hear and to understand Psalm 139 as i read this Word of TRUTH:

"O LORD, you have examined my heart and know EVERYthing about me. You KNOW when i sit down or stand up. You KNOW my thoughts even when i'm far away. You see me when i travel and when i rest at home. You KNOW EVERYthing i do.

You know what i am going to say even before i say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is TOO wonderful for me, TOO great for to understand!

i can NEVER escape from Your SPIRIT! i can NEVER get away from Your presence! If i go up to heaven, You are there; if i go down to the grave, You are there. If i ride the wings of the morning, if i dwell by the farthest oceans, even there Your hand will guide me, and Your strength will support me.

i could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night -- but even in darkness i cannot hide from You. To You the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to You.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank You for making me SO wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous -- how well i know it. You watched me as i was being formed in utter seclusion, as i was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me BEFORE i was born. EVERY day of my life was recorded in Your book. EVERY moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

How precious to me are Your thoughts, O GOD. They cannot be numbered! i can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when i wake up, You are STILL with me!

Search me, O GOD, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out ANYthing in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."

My dad Romeo is gone... so is uncle Ric. Yet Uncle's passing has touched me more deeply. When JESUS experienced the dying of His earthly father Joseph, how much MORE was the pain in His heart! When the apostle John watched His Beloved Teacher and LORD gasping for breath as He agonized on the cross -- how much MORE the apostle's pain! When Mary, the mother of JESUS, watched her Son die that excruciating death on the cross -- how much MORE a mother's pain! 

When GOD the FATHER watched His Only Begotten Son -- the Lamb of GOD, CHRIST JESUS -- being crucified as atonement for our sins, how much MORE... how unfathomable the pain in His heart! "For GOD loved the world SO much that He GAVE His One and ONLY Son, so that EVERYone who believes in Him -- CHRIST JESUS -- will NOT perish but have ETERNAL LIFE." (John 3:16)

For it is written: "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD.  "And My ways are far beyond anything you can imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom!
(Psalm 90:12)
GOD who is LOVE and who is ALL-Wise... He has the whole world in His hands!
Now may the GOD of Hope
fill you with all JOY and PEACE in BELIEVING,
that you may abound in HOPE
by the POWER of the Holy SPIRIT.
(Romans 15:13)